ST. HELENA -- All Debbie Fradelizio wants is a chance to relive old times and be with her family, friends and coworkers one last time as a team.
Just one person out there can help her, but she doesn’t know who it is.
Fradelizio, owner of the just-closed Silverado Brewing Company in St. Helena, had planned to get her staff and family together for one last set of photographs with the familiar sign that had hung next to Highway 29 for 12 years. Unfortunately, when she went to organize the shot earlier this month, she found that someone had stolen the sign in the night.
She’s not even mad: she just wants to borrow it back to get that photograph.
“I just want it one more time,” she said Wednesday as the brewery was selling off the last of its supplies and equipment. “Whoever took it can have it.”
Anyone with information on the sign can call her at 707-688-7572 or email email@example.com. It’s a no-questions-asked thing, she said. Just let her take the photos and you can keep the sign.
“We wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway,” said her daughter, Jennifer Fradelizio.
The popular brewery and restaurant closed last month after the building’s owners bought out the lease. Instead of trying to relocate, the brewery’s business partners decided to disband.
The business sold its brewing equipment to an expanding brewery in Cincinnati, brewer and co-owner Ken Mee said.
The huge tanks and brew kettles were dismantled and loaded up on a truck earlier this month. A specialized team of movers unhooked the bulky equipment and managed to get it out without any damage to the tanks or building.
Now the brewery is selling off the entire remaining inventory, from glasses and flatware to pumps and chillers used in the brew house and pieces of the draft beer system behind the bar.
The sale started Wednesday and was supposed to run through the weekend, but sales were so brisk on the first day, Fradelizio said, that they might have to wind up early.
The atmosphere in the brewery was bittersweet on Wednesday, with family and former staff selling goods, trading memories, and sipping the last of the brewery’s beer.
Bartender Rhiannon Kenney playfully put a fake tombstone, formerly used to decorate the restaurant at Halloween, behind the bar, making its “RIP” message the epitaph for the brewery.
She has this vision, Kenney said, that some day she’ll walk into someone’s house in the valley and see the missing sign.
“Oh, you’re the one,” she said, pointing to the imagined thief across the bar.
While it is clear that Silverado Brewing is finished, it’s not clear what comes next for the owners.
Fradelizio said she and her family will get through the holidays before deciding what they will do with their lives.
Likewise, Mee said he plans to take some time off to consider his options. “I know I am not done with brewing,” he said.